Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Apologies...

..but no time to blog this week..

Company and Matilda Jane and School have me running...


Monday, September 28, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook September 28th...

For Today...

Outside my window...Freezing and windy - finally. 50's this week. Fall is here! Woohoo - break-out the new wardrobes.

I am thinking... That I am very lucky.

I am thankful for... my kids. They give me such joy every minute. How did they turn out so perfect?;)

From the kitchen... I have been so lucky to have my in-laws here all week cooking for us. Cooking again with a baby has been so hard - just the thought of grocery shopping makes me want to eat mac n cheese for the rest of the year.

I am wearing... jammies

I am creating...my to do lists for Matilda Jane starting again this week.

I am reading... seriously? Barely even the paper.

I am hoping... for another fun week at school for the kids.

I am hearing..Donut chasing mice.

Around the house...Peace - everyone is still asleep but me. I love 5-6:30 am and being alone and awake in the house. One day I will get off my butt and start running again at this time.

One of my favorite things... new coffee - it is lovely this morning.

A few plans for the rest of the week.... Matilda Jane shows - cleaning, organizing.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing... quick iphone pic from Jed turning 40 yesterday.

To read more Daybook posts or learn how to participate, visit The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

From the backseat...

Eloise: "Mom, I really like having a baby sister."

Esther: "Yeah, I think I like babies more than cats now. But, when Astrid is not a baby any longer, I will like cats better again."


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cougars Love Adam Lambert!!!

So did you watch Courtney Cox's new show, Cougar Town last night? I did.

Now I am 40ish and mildly hot for 40 ifidosaysomyself. But, I am not on the prowl or anything. And I don't find men in the 20's attractive - I find myself gravitating towards Sean Connery and Gwen Stefani.

..but I am offended by the term Cougar. It ranks RIGHT up there for me with the other very derogatory "C" word for women. Seriously, my skin CRAWLS when I hear the word Cougar.

I am SOOO not a Cougar. Are you? What do you think about the term?


Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Fall brings us not only a change of seasons, but a change of rhythm.

Gone are the slow Summer days. The lazy days with decisions as big as going to the pool or not. Pink suit or blue. Hot dog or nachos. Summers are easy on the mind and full of white calendar days.

But Fall is here.

I love Fall. I love schedules.

But Fall is kicking me in the ass this time. Schedules kind of suck with a newborn. Newborns want snuggle time, down time, nursing time.

There are times when I am driving to and from school, to and from ballet, to and from violin, to and from friends, to and from Target, that I wonder if it is legal to nurse and drive and consider it briefly, as being a woman-multitasker, it would help my Fall load immensely.

So as I am Falling this Fall and trying to keep my head above water with my delicious schedules and red calender days. I need to thank my baby for making me stop 8 times a day and release my mind and my body to nurse and take time to breath.

xoxo, t

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook September 21

For Today...

Outside my window... finally cooling off. It's been in the 80's all week. I am sooo ready to break out the Fall clothing.

I am thinking... that my plate is full right now and I feel selfish for it as others have and handle so much more.

I am thankful for... my neighborhood. What fun to go to a neighborhood church fair in this big city and see so many friends. It feels like a small town.

From the kitchen... Amy's organic mac n cheese. So gourmet.

I am wearing... my favorite tie dye allen allen wrap dress.

I am creating... lists, lists and more lists

I am going... to clean up the house for company tomorrow. Almost done.

I am reading... nada

I am hoping... that Eloise's week is better this week. I want happiness for my kids.

I am hearing...fussing Astrid. ugh.

Around the house...Kids are in bed and I am drinking wine.

One of my favorite things... wine wine oh, I love red wine.

A few plans for the rest of the week.... ballet, violin, power walks, Jed's parents visit

Here is a picture thought I am sharing... fabulous glasses from the fair yesterday

To read more Daybook posts or learn how to participate, visit The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Weekend Update with Tracy...

1. Donut is still safe at home unfortunately. "Hope" has not reappeared this week and our neighborhood watch program in still in place. I did let Donut out on Friday, but he did come back. It was sad. Donut did catch 4 mice in the house this week though - yes, I love Fall. So we will keep him for his usefulness.

2. Eloise's teacher still won't really talk to me. Special. I will just pretend she is shy.

3. I mailed a birthday card to my nephew with the wrong name on the card. How is that for making your birthday special. I will either blame in on my daughters, my baby brain, or the fact my nephews have never come to visit me so I get them confused at times.(subtle hint)

4. I have seen this video on a few other blogs this past week - it is Oprah's kick-off party dance to one of my favorite songs. I do not watch Oprah, I would like to watch Oprah, but my kids do not allow it. Please watch this video - if you haven't already. It is very inspiring and makes me happy. Kind of like Happy Gum.

5. We went to Esther's school pizza social on Friday night. Jed was uncomfortable because he was the only one with his shirt tucked in and he noticed there were no white men in suits.anywhere. It was glorious. Within 1 hour, Jed no longer had his shirt tucked in either. Go Jed.


Friday, September 18, 2009


Yes, I have had a pretty Crapalicious week.

I think I will write a book and add it to Esther's Pinkalicious library.

It all turned brighter though when my friend Brenda dropped these flowers and this pack of gum on my doorstep.

I told you I had great friends.

..and I just went and bought a case of this gum for when you need some too.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Fairy Talent

"Hey Mom" Eloise yelled to me last Saturday when she got home from a day at Papa's. "What is your Fairy Talent?"

My Fairy Talent?

"You know like Tinkerbell and her friends have - every one has a talent - and I wonder if you have a Fairy Talent."

I told her that I didn't think I had one.

She was very sad about that. Her mom will never be her super hero.

I live in a personal world of mediocrity. I am not really great at anything. Now, don't think I am feeling sorry for myself...I am not...it is just my reality.

I tried piano as a kid - but didn't have the financial or emotional support to pursue it(no piano at home), so I quit when I could just play okay.

I tried the drums and could play okay, but quit by 9th grade.

I was a cheerleader, but couldn't do back handsprings, so was never the best.

I ski - but only the hard greens/easy blues.

I ran track and played tennis - but never won and never placed.

I got straight A's but never went to a great college.

I run - but only run a 4 hour marathon.

I cook and bake, but no one would ever make a special request for me to cook or bake for them.

I am a good mother, but not a great one and many days would rather my kids watch PBS then bother me...and the thought of doing a craft when them makes me ill.

I know I am not a very good wife.

I read, but never the classics and secretly still love a good mindless smut book.

I write - but my spelling and grammar are horrible and I will never be a story teller.

"No Eloise, I don't have a special Fairy Talent." But I am okay with that.

I would love for my girls to have one someday though - or at least to be more than mediocre in something. Just one thing - just to be good at one thing.

Why has it been so difficult for me.

Anyway, I guess my best talent is surrounding myself with people who do have Fairy Talents....who can play beautiful music for me, cook dinners, bake cookies and create masterpieces. I have really good fairy friends.

So, when your child asks you what your Fairy Talent is - how can you reply?
xoxo, t

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Speaking of Caged Animals...

..my daughters watching our neighbors set-up a Jumpy Castle for a party.
How pitiful are they?


Monday, September 14, 2009

A Blessing in Disguise...

A woman is hunting my cat.


A woman with a picture of a cat and the word "hope" on her t-shirt is hunting my cat.

Donut is locked in our home until further notice, wearing an orange tiger cat costume.

The fact that I am actually protecting my cat is currently beyond me. I am very confused with my sudden need to protect him. Stopping this "hope" woman from taking my cat is befuddling with my brain.

"Hope" indeed.

Donut pisses me off - he broke his leg, he broke our furnace...he meows a LOUD blood curdling meow that makes my skin crawl and I yell at him daily for annoying the hell out of me and just generally pissing me off.

..and then the girls see him and he sees the girls and they run to each other like long lost lovers and meld together in a pile of fur and skin and kisses and the damn cat stays and lives to see another day.

And I continue feeding him, cleaning his box and loving his pissing me off cat soul. Damn cat.

If he just wasn't so cute and sweet and silly. ..and if the girls didn't love him so much.

But now "hope" is after him.

Current score is "hope" 0 Tracy/Donut 1

"Hope" saw our cat outside this weekend in our neighbors yard, just hanging out. This stranger "hope" asked our neighbors who the cat belonged to as she is going to TAKE the cat because he is malnourished, unloved and sick. Our neighbors said "well, he is the happiest, most active cat I have ever seen - owned by some cat lovers and he must just have a great metabolism as that is why he is thin...because he is not sick nor malnourished."

You would think if 'save the cat Nazi "hope"' really cared about cats - she would COME TO OUR DOOR and express her concerns and I would say "Donut is a skinny cat - it's his body type..here is his vets number as he was just there last week for his yearly shots/check up and unfortunately he is the picture of good health" - you psycho animal do-gooder freakazoid.

But no, "hope" has decided her best plan of action is a complete intervention and KIDNAPPING. I kid you not - 2 hours after "Hope" saw Donut..she was BACK on her bike(of course she rides a bike and doesn't drive a car like us cat-abusing gas-guzzling house dwellers who talk to people before taking action) with a CAT CARRIER looking for Donut to TAKE HIM FROM US. What the F____! You don't just kidnap some kids cat.

"Hope" is seriously messed up and needs a new mission. She is a do-gooder gone bad.

So while Donut has gone into hiding in the kitty witness protection program...I have put the whole neighborhood on "hope" alert and to kidnap her if they see her so I can have my own little intervention on her ass.

The best part - when I told my next door neighbor to watch out for "hope" - he laughed and jokingly said(as he knows how much Donut pisses me off) - I think "hope" could really be a blessing in disguise for you - I say let him out and see if he conveniently disappears.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

On the 11th of September...

..I was walking into the ABN-AMRO bank in Delft. It was market day when we decided to stop in Delft for some pancakes..so we needed cash. I don't think we really got the cash that day.

As I got in line and continued my casual conversation with my aunt, and my aunt and my other aunt and my grandma, I was oblivious that no one at the bank was working - they were staring at the television on the wall....A customer said "are you American? you have been bombed with airplanes, it is a tragedy - look at the news on the t.v."

We looked up at the Dutch news being televised. I listened to catch as much Dutch as I could to understand what was happening.

One of the tellers than said - "turn the channel for the Americans, turn it to CNN or BBC so they can hear and understand what happened."
..and so they did. And we stood in the lobby of ABM-AMRO and learned of the tragedy of 9/11 and how it effected the world. The Dutch women in the bank had tears of sadness and disbelief running down their cheeks.

It was then that my phone started ringing - my colleagues from my Dutch office started calling - "I know you are taking some days off to be with family visiting from the States - but oh, Tracy - get to a TV, something horrible has happened in New York."

It was also then that my family needed to use my phone to call home. Americans abroad needing to connect to their families in the US to know that they were okay. We all needed a safe connection that day.
Listening to my Grandma talk to her love, my Grandpa on the phone...as tears rolled down her cheeks, as she vowed to never leave his side again til death did they part is what got me though.

Here was my Grandma, 73 years old - her first time out of the USA and away from her love...and without the full information of what happened and what could still happen, was now racked with fear of never seeing him again.

So, we went back to Amsterdam and the 5 of us holed up in my small apartment and watched CNN morning til night watching the events unfold. Periodically calling our loved ones in the States and ordering out for food. Taking a few strolls in the Vondelpark as we continued to have strangers approach us upon hearing out accents and offering their condolences to our Country.

It took a few more days for my family to be able to fly home - for there to be space and flying to be resumed. I remember all of us being a bit fearful of them flying. I know I held unto each of them just a little tighter that day as we said our goodbyes. I had an urge to go with them that day to be back on my Home soil just quickly again to know everything would be okay. I felt very alone that day they left.

I don't think my Grandma did ever leave Grampa's side again until she died 5 years later. They dutifully went to Mass every day after 9/11 - together praying for their families and the families effected by the tragedies of that day.

..and when I think about this day every year, I think about my Grandma and how brave she was to come overseas at 73 to visit her granddaughter. How I hope she never regretted that decision because of the events that unfolded during her stay, because having her with me to hold hands with and cry with on 9/11 meant the world to me. Every year now on 9/11, I can still feel her warm embrace.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Pre-K Rocking Day...

So, my 2nd baby went off to Pre-K yesterday.

..but as she likes to remind me, it is really kindergarten because she is in the kindergarten class.

We have chosen Montessori for Esther - so her class is 4-6 year olds in the actual kindergarten room in a k-6 elementary school.

I think Montessori is perfect for Esther and how she learns...and doesn't she look cute with a ruffle butt too?

She had an amazing first day.

..and was so excited to go.

The confidence this girl has just astounds me.

She even met a boyfriend yesterday named Tucker. She said he is really fun and she like funny boys. I asked if his dad was a doctor.

She will be sneaking out her bedroom window when she is 16 to meet up with Tucker, I am sure.

Like mother like daughter. Lord help me.

She loves her new teacher - and I love her new teacher. She is nice and introduced herself and made Esther feel comfortable and lets me talk to her and she talks back to me and she smiles like a normal human - unlike a certain 1st grade teacher I know.

..and yes, my 4 year old insisted on taking the bus home. I was a wreck about it - but she LOVED it. Can you tell by this end of the day smile how much she loved it?

Love you, My Miss Esther-Boo. You rock my world

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Why women in their 40's shouldn't have a baby

...besides having rotten, declining eggs, we also lose brain cells.

Sure, I am exhausted this week - the Matilda Jane season started so I am selling like a mad women..driving to shows, lugging my kids, nursing while writing orders - it is like crack for the fashionista momma.

My kids started school this week - new schools, so I am a wreck about that and need to get up by 4am to make sure they and I are organized for the day.

..and yes, I have a newborn who still gets up every few hours to nurse - so my sleep is a bit lacking.

This all came to a head last night.

I got home from my Matilda Jane show and kept driving around the neighborhood looking for my house -really, I couldn't remember where it was..finally found it...pulled into the garage, parked the car and when I got to the house to unlock the door - no keys. Where did I leave them.

Yep, still in the ignition with the car running.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I am so Screwed...

Eloise started first grade yesterday.

Eloise brought home her first homework assignment. Yes, first grade, first day, first homework assignment.

Really? Couldn't they just play with stuffed animals and have recess on the first day?

Are you ready for what her homework assignment was?


"Find and document 3 phenology examples today."


Yes, it is true...I already had to Google her first homework assignment to find out what the hell phenology is.

I am wondering if they have an extra chair for me in that first grade classroom because I need a bit of a refresher.

..and in other news...I picked out the CUTEST strappy, floral orange sandals for Eloise to wear to school today...but she chose this look instead.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

On Your First Day of First Grade...

Dear Eloise,

Happy Day you big First Grader!

I am so proud of you. Watching you carefully arrange your desk last week - placing the pencils just so, and stacking your notebooks neatly...you are so not your mother's daughter. Packing and repacking your backpack last night so it was efficiently organized based on when you would need the items and made to fit perfectly...you are so not your mother's daughter. Laying out your school clothes after making a hard choice from 10 appropriate sets per the weather...okay, we may have that in common. Laying your lunchbox on the counter and reminding me to pack your lunch promptly for the morning...and then telling me to wake you early this morning to make sure we are on time for your first day.

First Day - new school.

You were my shy, sensitive little toddler who has blossomed into a confident, inquisitive, outgoing, and lovely young girl. You are a friend to all and kindness leads your path. You are caring, helpful and of course, wickedly smart. You are going to Rock first grade my dear!

You are an avid reader and it is so endearing to me to see you with open books walking down the sidewalks, bumping into things as you cannot tear yourself away as you need to finish just "one more" chapter before closing it for the hour. How once you buy a new book, your only goal is to finish it quickly to see how it ends..and the rest of the world must wait. Your love of reading makes me squeal in delight....I always had a book in front of my face in grade school.

You are so brave to go to this new, big school. To not have the worries like your mom. I know you won't cry today..and I know I will...mainly because I am so proud of the girl you have become. How independent, lovely and just plain amazing you are. I am not sure how I got so lucky to live with with greatest 6 year old ever...but I did.

Love you sweetie.
xoxo, Mom

Monday, September 7, 2009

The End of Summer...

I was going to break open the bubbly for the girls tonight and treat them to a special meal to usher in their new school year.

I have decided to save the bubbly for myself for tomorrow morning at 8:30 AM after they are gone.

Go ahead and feel sad for me and my kids that I am glad Summer is finally over. I love my kids and love spending time with them...but they need to go play well with others for awhile...and selfishly, so do I.

I am tired. and crabby.

The only thing I am going to miss about Summer is this guy...

I love this guy..I think that he should come once a week when the schools are in and the kids are gone to bring smiles to the stay at home moms and serve margaritas instead of drumsticks. I think I have a new business plan.

For now he brings cheap ice cream to my girls twice per week, so I don't have to take them somewhere.

Oh, he brings big smiles too.

What I love the most about this guy though, is that instead of playing your typical "ice cream/carnival" genre music, he plays amazing Muslim Prayer music.

It takes me back to the lazy mornings in Turkey, being gently awoken by the songs of prayers from the spires of the Mosques. There has never been a more peaceful sound.

I love how he beckons the neighborhood out every week to buy ice cream and chat. The end of Summer means that we will go back into our homes and hibernate for the cold, Minnesota winter. We will miss the ice cream truck....and perhaps a little bit of Summer.

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